Georges St-Pierre has announced Khabib Nurmagomedov’s career triumphs but says he would “never dare” call out the now-retired fighter, despite being repeatedly linked to a fight with the UFC lightweight champion.
Former UFC two-weight world champion St-Pierre was a sort of subplot to Saturday’s UFC 254 main event between Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. The legendary fighter appeared to have media speculation that Khabib would seek a legacy-defining showdown with the French-Canadians ending his career with a perfect 30-0 record.
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Instead, Khabib surprised everyone but his closest family members by tearfully announcing his retirement moments after his second-round win on Fight Island.
And with the potential for a lucrative bout with the undefeated Nurmagomedov in the water, St-Pierre told ESPN that he believes Khabib’s legacy is already secured and said how impressed he was with his “perfect” career.
“As a person, I’m very, very happy for him. What a great career. What a great opportunity to leave with a perfect legacy,” said St-Pierre.
“Now all doors are open to him. He has reached the top. His portfolio is at its peak. He can do what he wants. Sponsorship, advertising, opening a school, acting, whatever he wants, the possibilities are endless.
“A lot of fighters in our sport tend to end too late in their careers. So their numbers go down and then they close the door to many post-career opportunities that many top athletes could have. Khabib now has a choice.
“I always feel sad when I see an athlete fighting too many fights – a champion. Fighting too many fights and retiring, doing very poorly and being bad … that’s something that I really don’t want anyone.
“Khabib made an amazing decision.”
St-Pierre admitted he was keen to end his own retirement to fight Nurmagomedov but said the details of the Russian’s decision to end his career mean he won’t face any challenges.
“Maybe I would normally challenge him, but given the circumstances, I would never dare do that,” said St-Pierre.
“I’m not in his shoes, he’s going through a difficult time because his father died. He needs time to mourn his father. I respect Khabib very much. What we do is a sport. It’s about sport out, go on The human side and I wish him and his family all the best. “
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